Transforming Industrial Food Systems to Prevent Future Disruptions
Keywords:Traditional Markets, Wet Markets, China, COVID-19, Pandemic, Livelihoods, Food Safety
I cannot emphasize enough the relevance of the work reported in this book, most notably how Chinese consumers procure food, including so-called wet markets that are often blamed for infectious disease outbreaks (e.g., SARS-CoV in 2002 and SARS-CoV-2 in 2019). For this reason, JAFSCD has allowed me to review this book although it was ably reviewed by Anthony Fuller in the previous issue of JAFSCD (Fuller, 2020). This book provides theoretical as well as empirical analysis of food systems in China, a country with the largest human population. It also details the long-established history of how traditional wet markets have become culturally important for food, nutrition, health, livelihoods, and wellbeing of Chinese residents. The book is divided into 10 self-contained chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the topic with a compelling story of how the authors’ journey to write this book began after they attended the BioFach China trade fair in Shanghai, the biggest annual organic food trade fair in the country (http://www.biofachchina.com/en/). This chapter also outlines the research objectives and methods for data collection and analysis. Chapter 2 provides further context surrounding China’s changing food systems after the economic liberalization in the late 1970s, following the death of Mao Zedong, former chairman of the People’s Republic of China. It was the time when industrial agriculture gained momentum in the country. Together with crop monoculture that eroded agricultural biodiversity and polluted air, water, and soil, industrial livestock production led to the concentration of animal wastes and excessive use of antibiotics and growth hormones. . . .
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